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Development of an elasto-plastic analytical model for design of grouted rock bolts in tunnels with particular reference to poor rock masses

Osgoui, Reza Rangsaz
The analysis presented in this thesis provides a methodology for grouted bolts design, based on empirical and analytical methods. Hence, the main objectives of this thesis are to offer practical means for better characterisation of poor to very poor rock masses, to better predict support pressure, and to develop an elasto-plastic analytical model for design of grouted bolts in tunnels excavated in such rock masses. To improve the applicability of the GSI (Geological Strength Index) in poor to very poor rock masses, using Broken Domain Structure (BSTR), Structure Rating (SR), and Intact Core Recovery (ICR), some modifications have been offered, resulting in the Modified-GSI. Applying rock-load height concept and Modified-GSI, an approach to estimate support pressure has been developed. The main advantage of this approach is its applicability in squeezing ground and anisotropic stress conditions. Numerical modelling was carried out in order to adjust the proposed support pressure equation. Considering convergence reduction approach, an elasto-plastic model based on the latest version of Hoek- Brown failure criterion has been developed for a more effective and practical grouted bolt design. The link between empirical approach and elasto-plastic solution makes it possible to reach more realistic and appropriate bolting pattern design. In this way, the need for the redesign procedure in the convergence reduction approach is eliminated. The results of the proposed elastic-plastic solution have been compared with a numerical model using FLAC2D, and a reasonable agreement was observed. The practical application of the developed methodology is depicted by an analysis of a case study in Turkey.